Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

1-Androstene-3beta, 17beta-diol; 4-AD; 4-Androstenediol; 4-Androstènediol; 4-Androstene 3, 17-diol; 4-androstene-3beta,17beta-diol; 5-AD; 5-Androstenediol; 5-Androstènediol; 5-androstene-3beta,17beta-diol; Androdiol; Androstènediol.


Androstenediol is a steroid. Steroids are chemical compounds that are distinguished by the way the carbon atoms are arranged. As a group, steroids include compounds that have powerful effects on the body, including the sex hormones called estrogen and testosterone.

Androstenediol used to be available as a dietary supplement. But under the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004, it was reclassified as a schedule III controlled substance. This means androstenediol is available only as a prescription medicine, and physicians have to follow strict rules when prescribing it.

Androstenediol is used to increase the body's production of testosterone; increase energy; enhance recovery and growth from exercise; heighten sexual arousal and performance; and promote a greater sense of well-being.

The use of androstenediol has been banned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

How does it work?

Androstenediol is a steroid hormone used by the body to make testosterone and estrogen.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Athletic performance. Androstenediol does not seem to help increase muscle size or strength when taken by mouth for 12 weeks in connection with resistance training.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Increasing energy.
  • Improving body recovery and growth from exercise.
  • Heightening sexual arousal and performance.
  • Increasing a sense of well-being.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of androstenediol for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Androstenediol is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for most people when taken by mouth. There is some concern that products can vary from what is listed on the label.

Women who take androstenediol might develop some male characteristics including deepening of the voice, facial hair growth, acne, abnormal menstrual periods, male-pattern baldness, thickening of the skin, and depression.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking androstenediol if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Heart disease: There is some concern that androstenediol might increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Androstenediol can increase levels of hormones such estrone, estradiol, and testosterone. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to these hormones, don't use androstenediol.

Prostate cancer and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH): Androstenediol can increase testosterone levels. There is also developing evidence that androstenediol might help prostate cancer cells grow. If you have a prostate condition, don't use androstenediol.


EstrogensInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Androstenediol seems to increase estrogen levels in the body. Taking androstenediol along with estrogen pills might cause too much estrogen in the body.

Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.

TestosteroneInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

The body changes androstenediol into testosterone. Taking androstenediol with a testosterone pill might cause there to be too much testosterone in the body. This might increase the chance of testosterone side effects.


The appropriate dose of androstenediol depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for androstenediol. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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National Collegiate Athletic Association. NCAA Banned-Drug Classes 2005-2006. Available at: